Seattle City Council member Lorena González sponsored the initial city resolution to create an immigrant defense fund earlier this year.
Seattle City Council member Lorena González sponsored the initial city resolution to create an immigrant defense fund earlier this year. CITY OF SEATTLE

King County and Seattle city officials announced today announced the 38 nonprofit recipients of $2.25 million in emergency funding to serve immigrants and refugees.

More than half of the money will be dedicated to a legal defense fund, which benefits organizations providing legal services and referrals to people with immigration status issues. Seattle City Council members unanimously passed a resolution to create such a fund in January.

"It is my sincere hope that funding these organizations will provide much needed protections against deportation for families that have built lives in the Seattle area," Seattle City Councilmember Lorena González said in a statement. "These organizations are committed to defending the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees by providing access to quality civil legal aid. Together, our community navigators and civil legal aid organizations are on the frontline of protecting immigrants and refugees from ongoing attacks by the Trump Administration."

Legal defense fund service providers include the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Kids in Need of Defense, Filipino Community of Seattle, South Park Information and Referral Center, and West African Community Council. In a statement, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said funding these organizations is paramount "because they advocate for immigrants every day in what’s now a larger fight to preserve core American principles of Democracy."

The Seattle Foundation also partnered with Seattle and county officials to set up an immigrant and refugee resilience fund, which provides social and mental health services for LGBTQ+ individuals, women, and people with disabilities.

“We proudly uphold the American promise that we are a nation that welcomes those fleeing oppression, seeking opportunity, and yearning for freedom,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “We have created partnerships that will reinforce King County’s reputation as an inclusive community where all are welcome to build a better life.”

View the full list of recipients here.